Kenneth E. Scott

Kenneth E. Scott

Senior Research Fellow
Research Team: 

Kenneth E. Scott is a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Ralph M. Parsons Professor of Law and Business Emeritus, Stanford University Law School. He has taught public regulation of banking institutions, corporation law, securities law, and administrative law. His current research focuses on legislative and policy developments related to the financial crisis, bank regulation, and deposit insurance. He has also studied the application of new economic perspectives to securities regulation, corporate law, and comparative corporate governance issues.

Scott is the author of four books: Bankruptcy Not Bailout (Hoover Institution Press, 2012), edited with John Taylor; Ending Government Bailouts (Hoover Institution Press, 2010), edited with George Shultz and John Taylor; Economics of Corporation Law and Securities Regulation (1980), edited with Richard Posner; and Retail Banking in the Electronic Age: The Law and Economics of Electronic Funds Transfer (1977), with William Baxter and Paul Cootner.

Recent articles include “The Financial Crisis: Causes and Lessons,” Journal of Applied Corporate Finance 22 (2010): 22, and (with Theo. Baums) "Taking Shareholder Protection Seriously? Corporate Governance in the US and Germany," American Journal of Comparative Law 53 (2005): 31.

Scott joined the Stanford law faculty in 1968. From 1963 to 1968, he served as general counsel of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board in Washington, DC, and from 1961 to 1963 was chief deputy savings and loan commissioner of California. Before those appointments, Scott was in private practice with the firms of Sullivan and Cromwell in New York and Musick, Peeler and Garrett in Los Angeles. He earned an AB in economics in 1949 from the College of William and Mary and attended Princeton University as a Woodrow Wilson fellow, receiving an MA in political science in 1953. He graduated from the Stanford Law School in 1956 with an LLB and is a member of the state bar in New York, California, and the District of Columbia.

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Recent Commentary

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Let's End "Too Big to Fail"

by Kenneth E. Scottvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Step number one is making bankruptcy feasible for large financial firms.

Making Failure Feasible Proposes Bold New Monetary Reforms
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Making Failure Feasible

by Thomas Jackson, Kenneth E. Scott, John B. Taylorvia Books by Hoover Fellows
Thursday, October 15, 2015

In 2012, building off work first published in 2010, the Resolution Project proposed that a new Chapter 14 be added to the Bankruptcy Code, exclusively designed to deal with the reorganization or liquidation of the nation's large financial institutions.

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

The Magna Carta At 800

by Allan H. Meltzer, Kenneth E. Scottvia Defining Ideas
Monday, June 15, 2015

The revolutionary document forms the basis of American constitutional government and should be celebrated by all freedom loving people. 

Designing a Better Bankruptcy Resolution

by Kenneth E. Scottvia Economics Working Papers
Sunday, December 1, 2013

Economics Working Paper WP13112

Failure Is an Option—A Very Good One

by Kenneth E. Scott, John B. Taylorvia Hoover Digest
Friday, October 18, 2013

How to let "too big to fail" banks close up shop, predictably and fairly.

US Capitol
Analysis and Commentary

How to Let Too-Big-To-Fail Banks Fail

by Kenneth E. Scott, John B. Taylorvia Wall Street Journal
Wednesday, May 15, 2013

It is now almost three years since the Dodd-Frank Act was enacted to prevent the possibility that taxpayers would have to bail out "too-big-to-fail" banks. Yet there is serious concern that the legislation has not solved the problem.

Bankruptcy Not Bailout: A Special Chapter 14

Bankruptcy Not Bailout: A Special Chapter 14

via Books by Hoover Fellows
Friday, September 14, 2012

The events of the last several years on Wall Street make a compelling case for comprehensive, fundamental reform in the oversight of financial firms. In Bankruptcy Not Bailout, a group of expert contributors show why, if a new addition to the bankruptcy laws—Chapter 14—were implemented along with other genuine reforms, the changes could strengthen the US financial system and provide the impetus the US economy needs to thrive once again.

Oil Drilling
Analysis and Commentary

Do oil companies deserve tax breaks?

by Kenneth E. Scottvia Arena (Politico)
Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Is eliminating a special treatment exception in the tax code, or ending a direct subsidy, a "tax increase"? Sure, it is a wealth transfer from the taxpayer back to the government...

Economics Abstract

Resolution of Failed Financial Institutions: Orderly Liquidation Authority and a New Chapter 14

by Thomas Jackson, Kenneth E. Scott, Kimberly Anne Summe, John B. Taylorvia Analysis
Monday, April 25, 2011
Studies by the Resolution Project at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution Working Group on Economic Policy.
The purpose of this short collection of papers is to demonstrate why the "orderly liquidation authority" in Title II of the Dodd–Frank bill “Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010” should be supplemented with a new and more predictable bankruptcy process designed specifically for large financial institutions. 
Debt Ceiling Ahead
Analysis and Commentary

Debt ceiling: Who blinks first?

by Kenneth E. Scottvia Arena (Politico)
Thursday, April 21, 2011

We are not likely to go back to a gold standard, but we are in desperate need of a more effective check, and that is what the debt ceiling debate is about...